NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, December 8

NBA DFS Picks: Yahoo Plays and Strategy for Thursday, December 8

This article is part of our Yahoo DFS Basketball series.

The NBA brings a limited slate consisting of just three games Thursday. The night will tip off with the Heat playing the Clippers, who will be on the second leg of a back-to-back set. Two bad teams from Texas will then face off when the Spurs host the Rockets. Finally, the night will conclude with Damian Lillard and the Trail Blazers hosting Nikola Jokic and the Nuggets. Let's break down some players to consider for your Yahoo lineups, as well as a few to possibly avoid.

GUARDS

Jalen Green, HOU at SA ($26): This could be the highest scoring game of the slate with the Rockets and Spurs both ranked inside the bottom-three in the league in defensive rating. Green has picked up his production lately, providing 23.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 5.1 assists over the last seven games. Kevin Porter (knee) is listed as questionable, and if he can't play, Green would enter with huge upside. Even if Porter plays, Green is still a great option as one of the primary scorers for the Rockets. 

Tre Jones, SA vs. HOU ($23): The Spurs will be shorthanded for this matchup with Jakob Poeltl (knee) and Jeremy Sochan (quadriceps) out. Devin Vassell (knee) is also listed as doubtful, and his loss would be significant since he has averaged 20.5 points, 4.2 rebounds and 3.6 assists over 33 minutes per game. Look for the Spurs to rely more on Jones, who is already averaging 29.5 Yahoo points per game for the season.

Guard to Avoid

Bruce Brown, DEN at POR ($21): Brown is a key supporting player for the Nuggets who can play multiple positions. He can also contribute in a variety of areas statistically, which can make him a valuable option in DFS. However, he hasn't bee a consistent source for production, scoring 23.7 Yahoo points or fewer in three of his last six games.

FORWARDS

Keldon Johnson, SA vs. HOU ($28): Johnson has taken over as one of the Spurs' primary scoring options this season, posting a 28.6 percent usage rate on his way to averaging 20.4 points and 2.9 three-pointers per game. If there is a downside, it's that he has shot just 39.3 percent from the field, which is a significant decline from his 46.6 percent mark last season. Still, with Vassell likely being out and the Rockets playing porous defense, Johnson is an excellent option.

Jabari Smith, HOU at SA ($17): Smith played well against the 76ers in the Rockets last game, posting 16 points, 11 rebounds and one block in a double-overtime victory. He has started to pick up his production, putting up 14.1 points, 7.5 rebounds and 0.9 blocks over his last 10 games. His forte is hitting shots from behind the arc, so with the Spurs allowing the highest three-point shooting percentage in the league, he has a favorable opportunity to continue his hot streak.

Forward to Avoid

Josh Hart, POR vs. DEN ($21): Hart made his return from a two-game absence to log 33 minutes against the Pacers on Sunday. He's listed as probable for this matchup, so expect him to log his normal allotment of minutes. The problem is, he doesn't score a ton, and he may have fewer opportunities than usual to contribute in other areas since both the Trail Blazers and the Nuggets rank inside the bottom-10 in the league in pace of play.

CENTERS

Bam Adebayo, MIA vs. LAC ($32): The Heat have dealt with a variety of injuries this season, but Adebayo has only missed two games and is averaging a career high 35 minutes per game. He hasn't let the Heat down, providing 20.7 points, 9.2 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 1.0 steals. The Clippers could have tired legs and rest multiple key players after having just played Wednesday, so look for Adebayo to take advantage.

Robert Covington, LAC at MIA ($10): It wouldn't be a surprise to see the Clippers rest both Paul George and Kawhi Leonard for this game. Leonard feels like a lock to sit, given the injury issues he's had this season. Covington is already playing well, scoring at least 21.2 Yahoo points in each of the last five games that he has played. With the potential for him to log at least 20 minutes, he is worth considering in tournament play at the minimum salary.

Center to Avoid

Jusuf Nurkic, POR vs. DEN ($26): Nurkic is providing steady production yet again, putting him on pace to average a double-double for the fourth time over the last five seasons. Normally, he is a safe mid-tier option with a high floor. However, there is the potential for him to get into foul trouble in a matchup against Nikola Jokic. Rolling with Adebayo at a salary that isn't all that much higher than Nurkic's might be the best route to take.

The author(s) of this article may play in daily fantasy contests including – but not limited to – games that they have provided recommendations or advice on in this article. In the course of playing in these games using their personal accounts, it's possible that they will use players in their lineups or other strategies that differ from the recommendations they have provided above. The recommendations in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of RotoWire. Mike Barner plays in daily fantasy contests using the following accounts: FanDuel: mbarner, DraftKings: mbarner51.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mike Barner
Mike started covering fantasy sports in 2007, joining RotoWire in 2010. In 2018, he was a finalist for the 2018 FSWA Basketball Writer of the Year award. In addition to RotoWire, Mike has written for Sportsline, Sports Illustrated, DK Live, RealTime Fantasy Sports, Lineup Lab and KFFL.com.
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